One decade and counting

March 22, 2005

Article Text

I still remember the first Web page I ever made. I don't remember what it said or looked like, but I remember making it. It was late 1994, and a friend of mine from high school named Jim (we were then both freshmen on the same college campus) walked me through the basics of formatting text with HTML tags in order to get a page set up on my student UNIX account.

The interesting part of this story is that he wasn't standing over my shoulder walking me through it. He was chatting with me over UNIX ntalk, an early, non-mainstream precursor to AIM and ICQ. In another telnet window, I was logged into my UNIX account typing an HTML text file in PINE — very "hello world"-ish. Welcome to the world of the Internet.

Hard to believe that was more than 10 years ago. And now that I look back on this 10th anniversary of Star Trek: Hypertext, I think of how...

Aw, screw this. Enough, already, with the trips down memory lane.

I wrote a retrospective on the site's fifth anniversary, so I'm not going over all that again. If you want a retrospective, you can read the article from five years ago. There's not much more to add to that, because this site evolved much more in its first five years than in the last five. The last five years have been an exercise in reapplying a proven formula. You know, kind of like Star Trek.

Instead of looking back, let's look forward.

As I celebrate the 10th completed year of this site's online existence, Star Trek is going into hiatus. Enterprise has been canceled, and, come September, for the first time in 18 years, there will be no new Star Trek on the air. A number of people have recently asked me what I think about the fact that Star Trek is going away.

Well, simply put, it's not a tragedy.

Think about it. Star Trek will go away with approximately 700 episodes under its belt. Seven hundred. Even if Trek never comes back (although I have virtually no doubt that it will), all those hours are already on the record in the bid for immortality. Few TV series, or even franchises, can come anywhere close to that number. Is there some need for it to go on forever? I personally don't think so.

There's a campaign out there right now vying to raise the money to fund a new season of Enterprise. While I have to respect the dedication of these fans, I don't really think it's necessary. I think we need to let Trek go for now. Besides, why should the viewers pay for the production of a TV show — a show that is ultimately intended to make money for a corporate entity by way of advertising?

So, no, Enterprise's cancellation is not a surprise or a tragic outcome. It has been pretty much inevitable for the past year.

But that leaves me with another question: What happens to this site when Enterprise is gone?

Well, you can be pretty certain that I won't simply be folding and walking away. The reviews will probably go on, in some form or another. Exactly what form and what subject remains to be seen. In the past couple months, people have been asking me if I plan to go back and review ST:TNG, or pick up reviewing the new Battlestar Galactica. Let's just say that those are two promising paths. Let me also hasten to add that the final decisions will be based on several factors and won't be made until after Enterprise wraps in May. And, as I said, the formats/lengths are still under consideration.

But even if Star Trek is going away, I'm not planning to. Not just yet. I've been here 10 years, and my plan right now is to at least make it to 11.

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